[Notes by Pok:] This one is my first 'bardic' effort. I attempt at least to appear bardic with the title cut, which uses song lines announced numerically in three groups of three, that adds up to nine. All very druidic, or at least trying to be.
I bought a guitar in Exeter and went to join Aurelie in Spain where I wrote several of these songs. Particularly memorable is lounging in the bed in the truck, me writing 'Key'. It is loosely based on 'Turn Turn Turn' in the chords and melody but I hadn't worked what word to use for the chorus. I had actually thought of the word 'roll', but my mind muscle hadn't fitted it to the song until Aurelie came up with 'Roll Roll Roll' and that was that.
'King' was written a while before this, the subject opening up a bardic-style vein again.
'Terror Machine' describes my feelings after the 2005 G8 conference in Gleneagles. However it was 'My Elusive Muse' which tipped the balance.
This album came at a point where I was fighting inside myself for new musical identity, accepting that now this was the 'older' part of my career and how was I to move into that? I was feeling generally a bit smashed up or at least battered and arms and fingers feeling like they'd had better days. On a melancholy evening in Paris, Aurelie myself and Ilona visited some friends to stay the night. There was a guitar hanging on the wall and it whispered at me that it was OK to play. I plucked the thing with three strings tuned down to D and the music for 'Muse' emerged. I felt the energy of it and I felt as if I was being washed up on a new shore after having been lost at musical sea. It was quite quietly beautiful. I had musically died for a good while and reincarnated that night.
'Battered and Blue' was half-written while travelling, then I nearly got me and Ilona killed rolling backwards down a mountain motorway after the engine ceasing in the cold. I managed to reach the brake and so lived to tell the tale and finish the song.
'Violence' came one morning in the carpark at Beneficio near Orgiva when I had been a little rough with Aurelie.
When we got to Bilbao for the ferry, we looked arouind for some place to get out of the rain. As far as I was concerned, all of the cafes stank, but then one was found where I was happy, and the hot chocolates were OK for Ilona and I. We hung out hours there, a video playing modern flamenco hits. And so 'I Remember Blue' was constructed. I really went on a journey in that one.
The following crossing was very rough and all I could do was lie still. Every time I moved, the rise and fall of the boat would make me urge. I wasn't actually sick, I hadn't eaten much, certainly nothing from the ship!
The pair 'Twyford Down' and 'Newbury and Beyond' were an at long last effort to chronicle in song the nineties protest scene. I had never attempted, or felt drawn to do this up to this point. Also at this time , Jim Hindle had published his book, Nine Miles which concerns the Third Battle of Newbury, the Battle of the Trees.
'Albion' comes from a place right under my feet and in the air we breath, space beyond, plus I am not sure quite where. It is a mixture of my influences, triggered by the notion I have always had that poet William Blake was speaking directly to us people born three hundred or so years after his death. Aurelie plays the drum.
This was recorded with Mark the archivist of the Spacegoats material, soon after our return to Sussex. I recorded it with the big red Vintage guitar that I had bought in Exeter, laying down first the tracks of guitar then the singing. The recording comes from a CD of the mixes that were never fully perfected. However, I quite like it that way, they are like the basic skeletons and they mean much to us.